Re-release of Scott Bradfield’s first book: The History of Luminous Motion

The History of Luminous Motion

We are excited to announce that Dr. Scott Bradfield’s highly acclaimed first novel is being re-released by Calamari Press in August 2013. Below is the press release:

Blue Velvet meets Oedipus Rex – Philip, a disillusioned and possibly psychopathic wunderkind, leads a Bonnie & Clyde existence with his increasingly despondent Mom before reluctantly settling down on the frayed fringes of suburbia, Then, like normalizing redemption, his affluent Dad arrives – only it’s not the sort of redemption Philip is prepared for. First published in 1989, this long-neglected cult classic features revisions and a new afterword by the author.

“A novel as mysterious, beautiful, sad and frightening as contemporary American childhood itself – and, fortunately, a good deal funnier. Bradfield’s California is haunted by vast primordial Lovecraftian forces – death, sex, credit cards, Mom – which threaten always to emerge from their ancient hiding places and engulf the world and the narrator, eight-year old Phillip and his preteen Karamazov friends. Those who think they know all about California and Oedipal drives will here discover the true extent of their ignorance. The thing is indescribably – violent, hallucinatory, comic and incredibly well written. Scott Bradfield has not simply staked out new literary terrain here, he has mapped and colonized an entire new planet.” – Michael Chabon

“Bradfield is one of my favorite living writers.” – Jonathan Lethem

“A wizardly writer of stories, His prose is so lucid and exact, his narrative sense so conficent, that you hardly know where he’s taking you until you’re there.” – Tobias Wolff

“Scott Bradfield has been writing some of the wises and funniest fiction for a while now.” – Sam Lipsyte

“Painfully beautiful writing.” – Mary Gaitskill

“As disorienting as it is seductive…casts an utterly irresistible spell. This is the voice, recombinant and renewed, of Thomas Pynchon exploring the reaches of inner and outer space, Don DeLillo exposing the vile politics of technology, John Leonard spitting up the whole vile twentieth century…a daringly original literary sensibility.” – Newsday

“If you spot it, grab it. If you like my stuff, you’ll like [The History of Luminous Motion]…extremely well done; most unusual…quite a powerful piece of work.” – J. G. Ballard

Scott's Press Release

Annual MFA Anthology, Writings…, Goes to Print, Launch Scheduled

Cover by Hannes Pasqualini,

Cover by Hannes Pasqualini,


We are excited to announce that the annual Kingston University MFA anthology, Writings…, goes to print this week. The official launch will be next week and we hope you’ll join us for a reading, drinks and a celebration of the achievements of all out MFAs. This event is free and open to the public so please join our Facebook event and invite your friends. You’ll even get a free copy of the publication!



Writings… Launch

Thursday, 30 May 2013


Waggon & Horses Pub

Surbiton, KT6 4TW

A Message from Scott Bradfield

Dear MFAers,

Thanks for one of my favorite years in higher ed, and for all the surprising (and kind) things you said in these various nominations and blog posts.  They meant a lot to me this year.

I have decided to end my Directorship of the MFA, as of this week.  It’s not a choice I make lightly.

I plan to retain my .6 position, and to be “reallocated,” so I will probably be around in the fall.  I hope to see you all soon.

Yours sincerely,

Scott Bradfield

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Bradfield!

No Dead White Men and the students of the 2012/2013 MFA in Creative Writing cohort are thrilled to announce that our course leader, Dr. Scott Bradfield, was the recipient of a Student-led Learning and Teaching Award, last night. Scott won the Excellence in Course Development Award for all his hard work on the MFA in Creative Writing. Scott received over 20 student nominations commending his teaching, feedback, student support skills and the enthusiasm that he applies to his teaching on the BA, MA and MFA programs. The awards committee, however, were so impressed by the picture painted of the MFA program that they created a special award to recognize the amazing opportunities Scott has initiated, supported or continued for the course.

This is the first year that Kingston has had Student-led Learning and Teaching Awards. Almost 300 nominations were received, so to have won is a great honour and shows just what a brilliant job Scott does. A panel of Kingston University Students’ Union students and course representatives, and staff from the Academic Development Centre and other areas of the university sifted through all the nominations and then decided on the finalists and winners.

The event was held at the Holiday Inn by the Thames in Surbiton and included dinner and musical entertainment provided by KU music students. Winners of both student representative and staff awards, finalists and student nominees were in attendance.

After being presented with his award, Scott attributed much credit and thanks to all his colleagues in FASS and in the Creative Writing department saying that the MFA program had been created and strengthened by them all. He paid particular tribute to the work of David Rogers, Karen Lipsedge, Andrew Teverson, Adam Baron, the administrative staff who run the program and all the staff who teach on the modules and supervise dissertations.

Highlights of the MFA program at Kingston University include:

  • The opportunity to earn a PGCLTHE qualification to teach in higher education
  • The opportunity to get in-classroom teaching experience as a graduate teaching assistant
  • Weekly writing workshops in support of the dissertation
  • A module on advanced critical reading for writers
  • A module on arts employability, including the option to initiate and run a community project
  • Series of workshops on teaching from some of the top writers at Kingston University
  • The MFA Residency series where Scott brings in writers from across the UK and the top MFA programs in the US to run workshops on teaching and writing, give public readings and work with students in one-on-one tutorials. This is an opportunity not available through any other MFA program in the UK or US.
  • Personal tutorials with a top writer in support of the dissertation
  • This fantastic blog
  • An annual publication, Writings…, that compiles all MFA students’ work and a formal launch event
  • Scott’s boundless enthusiasm, his personal support and his desire to always improve the program

All this is to leave out how great a teacher Scott is, though. Here are some thoughts from his MFA students on his teaching:

I think of two things when I think of Scott:
“The boy is in a kicking situation with the ball”
“Just write the next sentence.”
I initially heard both of these gems back in 2008, the first year of my BA. I have carried these statements with me ever since and expect to continue to derive new insights from them in the years to come

‘Scott teaches with a combination of straightforward constructive criticism, humour and humility. As a student in his class I genuinely feel like my time is valuable to him, and he wants to do everything possible to help me succeed. In the MFA, this has meant bringing in some of the best creative writing tutors and authors from the UK and beyond, bending over backwards to make sure each of us gets enough private tutorials to ensure we are receiving the widest variety of feedback on our work. He is also continually asking for our feedback on how to develop the course further, what would make it better, etc. His constant pursuit to make the MFA as successful as possible is what makes him a fantastic course leader and lecturer.’

‘Scott doesn’t care if you’re writing high brow literary fiction or commercial fantasy romance. His goal is to make your writing better, one sentence at a time.’

‘Scott isn’t even my dissertation supervisor, but he’s still invested in my work and takes the time to help me.’

‘Every time I think [Scott] is wrong about something, I try to do it my way and then realise that he’s right.’

‘I was in a tutorial with one of my students the other day and found myself saying to her all the things that Scott has said to me. I hope I’m as supportive, inspiring, challenging and encouraging as he is.’

As his students, we want to thank Scott for all his hard work over the past two years. It has not gone unnoticed and we are very grateful for all the time and energy he puts into the program, into us and into our writing.



Find out more about the awards and see all the finalists and winners here.

Former MFA Resident Steve Erickson’s Debut Novel Lauded – Again

book_daysbetweenstationsSteve Erickson’s first novel, The Days Between Stations, may have been published in 1985, but it’s still being lauded as one of the best literary debuts of all time. Just this past Wednesday, author Nicholas Royle listed it among his top 10 first novels. The Kingston University MFA program is proud to count Erickson among the illustrious writers who have been part of the MFA Residency Series. In fact, he was one of the first authors to participate and to travel from the US and meet with students.

He edits the American literary journal, Black Clock, which, since its inception in 2004, has featured the writing of such writers as Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Aimee Bender and another MFA Resident, Brian Evenson.

Royle writes of The Days Between Stations:

“I was attracted by the cover; the illustration had a surreal quality reminiscent of Henri Rousseau, which was not not at all misleading. Erickson writes about film and identity, about the New World and the Old, about love and trains and hidden rooms and a bicycle race around Venice. Fall in love with a writer’s first novel, as I did with this, and your relationship with their work is for life.”

Read the full article here.

Our program director, author Scott Bradfield has long been a fan of Erickson’s work. In 2007, he reviewed Erickson’s novel, Zeroville, writing:

“Steve Erickson is that most unenviable of contemporary American writers––people either don’t read him at all, or they read him too carefully for all the wrong reasons. More often than not, useless and misleading adjectives are applied to his work: “visionary,” for example, or “mythmaking,” or God help us all, even “Pynchonian.” But Erickson isn’t, to his credit, any of these things whatsoever. Rather he is, quite simply, a really absorbing and continuously inventive novelist. He creates unusual characters worth caring about––and he devises original ways of telling about them.”

Read the full article here.

Visit Steve Erickson’s personal website here.

Come meet the MFAs

That’s right. We will be emerging from our writing hovels on Thursday, the 25th of October from 8pm to go to the Spring Grove. Any earlier and the natural light begins to hurt our eyes.

If you’re a first year MFA, an MA thinking about doing the MFA or just want to know what we look like, come meet us at the Spring Grove pub on Bloomfield Street. You can find a map here.

Course leader, Dr. Scott Bradfield, will also be there and we’d love to meet you all.

Brian Evenson and J.Robert Lennon

You’ve got to be licking your lips at this prospect – two new guest writers /teachers confirmed at KU.

Brian Evenson and J. Robert Lennon, directors of two of the most prestigious writing programs in the United States –

coming soon at a spring workshop near you.

Brian Evenson

BRIAN EVENSON is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the limited edition novella Baby Leg, published by New York Tyrant Press in 2009. In 2009 he also published the novel Last Days (which won the American Library Association’s award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York‘s top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he directs Brown University’s Literary Arts Program. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann’s Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. ( from

He is director of the MFA program at Brown University.


Fiction –

Altmann’s Tongue (1994)

Din of Celestial Birds (1997)

Prophets and Brothers (1997)

Father of Lies (1998)

Contagion and Other Stories (2000)

Dark Property: An Affliction (2002)

The Brotherhood of Mutilation (2003)

The Wavering Knife

The Open Curtain (2006)

Aliens: No Exit (2008) – as B.K. Evenson

Last Days (2009)

Fugue State (2009)

“Pariah” in Halo: Evolutions – Essential Tales of the Halo Universe  – B.K. Evenson (2009)

Baby Leg: A Novella (2009)

Dead Space: Martyr – as B.K. Evenson (2010)


Understanding Robert Coover (2003)

J. Robert Lennon

author of, most recently, Castle, a novel

and Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes –  which contains 100 very short stories

He is director of the MFA program at Cornell University.


Novels –

The Light of Falling Stars (1997)

The Funnies (1999)

On the Night Plain (2001)

Mailman (2003)

Happyland (2006; serial publication)

Castle (2009)

Short Story collections –
Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes (2005)

here is the New York Times review of Castle and Pieces for the Left Hand, by Scott Bradfield:

As if you weren’t excited enough.

Scott Bradfield’s totally subjective (within reason) reading list for the MFA

MFA Reading List

– Bradfield, Fall 2011 –

The following titles are recommended to anyone who wants to see how good writers with long careers behind (and ahead of) them address issues of style, plot, character and substance.


Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana

Brian Moore, Lies of Silence

Alison Lurie, Foreign Affairs

Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By

Michael Moorcock, The Knight of Swords

Elmore Leonard, La Brava

Xiaoda Xiao, The Cave Man

Richard Yates, The Easter Parade

Brian Evenson, Last Days

Steve Erickson, Zeroville

Rachel Cusk, In the Fold

Jonathan Franzen, Freedom

Ian McEwan, Solar

Short Stories:

Helen Simpson, Four Bare Legs and a Bed

Raymond Carver: Where I’m Calling From, New and Selected Stories

George Saunders, Pastoralia

J. Robert Lennon, Pieces for the Left Hand: 100 Anecdotes

Joyce Carol Oates, The Collector of Hearts

Travel Literature/Life-Writing:

Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent

Tobias Wolff, This Boy’s Life

Children’s Fiction:

Phillip Pullman, Northern Lights

Louis Sachar, Holes


James Merrill, Water Street

John Berryman, The Dream Songs

Disch, About the Size of It

and, oh, anything by Amy Clampitt


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